AJ Releases Shortlist for 2014 Woman Architect of the Year

Library of Birmingham / Mecanoo. Image © Christian Richters

Architects’ Journal has just released the shortlist for their  Awards, which aim to “raise the profile of women architects in a sector where women still face an alarming degree of discrimination.”

Christine Murray, Editor of Architects’ Journal, commented: “I’m delighted to announce this year’s shortlist, which includes the women behind the celebrated Library of Birmingham, the new Stonehenge development and the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre. The awards celebrate design excellence and leadership — qualities needed to succeed as an architect — and especially among women, who are under-represented in the construction industry.” See the list, after the break.

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The Portland Problem: $95 Million for a Hated Building?

The Portland Building in 1982. Image © Steve Morgan via Wikimedia Commons

In a provocative article,The Atlantic  explores the dilemma which Portland currently finds itself in: the -designed Portland Building, one of the most important examples of early postmodernism, requires renovation work to the tune of $95 million; unfortunately, most residents of Portland “really, really hate” the building – as they have since it was constructed in 1983. Should the city spend so much money renovating a building which is unpopular, dysfunctional and poorly built just because of its cultural significance? Read the original article for more.

Europe’s Top 100 Schools of Architecture and Design

Picking a university to study at can be an incredible challenge, especially with architecture courses which can last up to 7 years at some institutions – and knowing what to expect can take hours of research. That’s why the Italian magazine Domus has helpfully made its 2014 supplement of ’s top 50 schools in both architecture and design available for free online. It’s sure to be an invaluable resource for anyone considering their options for architecture or design courses in Europe.

Read on for more about the resource

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Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro Among Shortlist for Vancouver Art Gallery

Site of the future Vancouver Art Gallery. Image Courtesy of http://vanartgallery.bc.ca/future/

In an odd twist of fate, the architects of the soon-to-be-demolished American Folk Art Museum, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and the architects spearheading the MoMA redesign (that will require its demolition), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will soon compete to design the Vancouver Art Gallery. Joining them on the impressive shortlist are Herzog & de Meuron, KPMB Architects, and SANAA. More after the break.

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Snohetta Makes Times Square Permanently Pedestrian

Courtesy of Snøhetta

City’s Times Square has concluded the first redevelopment phase of a permanent pedestrian plaza just in time for last week’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Snøhetta’s $55 million redesign — bounded by Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets — creates an uninterrupted and cohesive surface, reinforcing the square’s iconic role as an outdoor stage for entertainment, culture and urban life.

Learn more after the break…

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Confirmed: American Folk Art Museum to Be Demolished

Rendering of the “art bay” of the new MoMA, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image Courtesy of MoMA

In a statement released last night, Glenn Lowry, the director of the MoMA, confirmed that the American Folk Art Museum, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, will be demolished in order to make way for a re-design and expansion spearheaded by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R).

More information – and the critics’ reactions – after the break.

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UConn Selects Shortlist to Design New Campus Masterplan

Aerial of UConn Campus. Image © Mark Mirko | Hartford Courant

The State of Connecticut and the (UConn) have invested $2 million to create a masterplan for the UConn campus that will include a new science building and residence hall. The masterplan will be chosen from among three finalists – Michael Dennis & Associates, NBBJ and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill - and then subject to numerous public meetings in which professors, staff, students and community members will be encouraged to provide their input.

Learn more after the break…

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Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Metal

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we’ve rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: metal. Check out the projects after the break…

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Denise Scott Brown: A Must-Read Interview

outside Las Vegas in 1966; photograph from the Archives of Robert Venturi and . Image © Frank Hanswijk

Designers & Books editors Stephanie Salomon and Steve Kroeter sat down with Denise Scott Brown for a conversation centered around Learning from Las Vegas, the seminal work penned by Scott Brown, Robert Venturi, and Steven Izenour in 1972. The must-read interview reveals some fantastic insight into Scott Brown’s personal and professional life – her unending love of neon (one which led her to Las Vegas), her distaste for the “tyranny of white paper” (which gravely afflicted the design of the first edition of Learning from Las Vegas),as well as her – rather surprising – position on awarding group creativity. Read the full interview here and check out some select quotes from the interview, after the break.

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A Radical New Approach to Prison Design

© Glen Santayana

A recent topic that has been receiving attention among architects is the issue of designing prisons. The increased awareness of the problem has been spearheaded by Raphael Sperry, founder of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, who has been campaigning to have the AIA forbid members from designing execution chambers or solitary confinement units. At the other end of the scale, Deanna VanBuren, a principle of FOURM Design Studio and a member of ADPSR herself, has championed ‘restorative justice’, an approach to the justice system which emphasizes rehabilitation and reconciliation in order to prevent people from re-offending.

Now Glen Santayana, a student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, has used his thesis project to add to this debate, designing PriSchool – a prison which both integrates with a school of criminology and is embedded within the community. Could this radical approach to prison design really be an answer to the stretched prison system in the US (and elsewhere)? Read on after the break to find out more.

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Should NYC Be Curbing Its Tall Buildings?

111 West 57th Street by SHoP Architects. Image Courtesy of SHoP Architects

Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman puts forward his opinion on what should be done about the new breed of supertall residential buildings threatening to place Central Park ”inside the world’s biggest chessboard”. While he accepts that they may be an important factor in bringing wealth (and tax revenue) to New York, he offers some simple changes in legislation that could protect the city’s famous skyline from abuse by high-power development firms. Read the full article here.

Hamburg’s Plan to Eliminate Cars in 20 Years

About 40% of the area of , the second largest city in Germany, is made up of green areas, cemeteries, sports facilities, gardens, parks and squares. For the first time ever, the city has decided to unite them together via pedestrian and cycle routes. It’s all part of the “Green Network Plan,” which aims to eliminate the need for vehicles in Hamburg over the next 20 years.

According to city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch, the project will help to turn the city into a one-of-a-kind, integrated system: “Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you’ll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot.”

More details, after the break.

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The Critics’ Best (and Worst) of 2013

The Krishna P Singh Center for Nanotechnology quietly proved to be one of the critics’ favorites of 2013. Image © Albert Večerka/Esto

2013 was a year of stories that were intriguing, exciting, disappointing and – sometimes – downright hilarious.As is traditional at this time of year, many critics are rounding up their highlights of the past 12 months.Perhaps the most entertaining of the roundups is Olly Wainwright’s of the Guardian; Wainwright took 10 big stories from this year and twisted them into new year’s resolutions – offering up helpful advice such as “don’t be afraid of copying“, “be nice to skateboarders“, and the Walkie-Scorchie inspired “don’t melt things”. Other critics, though, had more sensible suggestions for what went right and wrong in 2013 – read on after the break to find out more.

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Think Space Launches Latest Competition: Culture & Society

Think Space has now launched the second competition in its MONEY cycle: Culture & Society, to be jurored by Pedro Gadanho, the Curator of Contemporary Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Details about the competition – and how to participate – after the break.

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Wang Shu’s Partner Lu Wenyu: I Never Wanted a Pritzker

Courtesy of www.ilgiornaledellarchitettura.com

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El País, defends her husband Wang Shu for solely receiving the Pritzker Prize in 2012. Despite the fact that the couple co-founded Amateur Architecture Studio and have worked side by side ever since, Wengyu maintains that her husband would have shared the Prize with her – she just didn’t want it. 

She confides to El País: ”In China, you lose your life if you become famous. I want a life and I prefer to spend it with my son. Over there I don’t accept . And not in English-speaking countries either [...] I’m happy to be able to do architecture that I believe helps our towns and cities to be better. I’m convinced that to talk about this awakens interest in others – not being famous.” Read the full interview at El País

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We Need More ‘Building’ in Architecture School

Courtesy of Flickr user mr kris

“Architectural education is very abstract.” Virginia Tech professors and Rural Studio alumni Keith and Marie Zawistowski sat down to talk about the importance of a hands-on experience, suggesting a fundamental restructuring of curriculums. With projects such as the Masonic Ampitheater, they — together with their students — set out to prove that somethings are simply solved by building. Read the full article here, “What Architecture Schools Get Wrong”.

New Images Unveiled of Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island Campus

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New information has been released — along with a series of renders — seven months after the New York City Council approved Cornell University’s two million square foot technology campus in Roosevelt Island. Envisioned as “a campus built for the next century,” Cornell Tech’s first set of buildings has tapped into the talent of some of the most respected architecture firms in the city: Morphosis-winning Thom Mayne, Weiss/Manfredi Architecture, Handel Architects, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

New images of the buildings, after the break…

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David Adjaye Unveils Uganda Office Complex

© David

David Adjaye has been selected to design what will be the centerpiece of the largest redevelopment project in Africa’s history. The British architect, who spent his childhood growing up in Uganda, recently presented the vision alongside designer and co-founder Ozwald Boateng Obe and CEO Chris Cleverly.

The 65-hectare vision, which is aimed to redevelop the Naguru and Nakawa areas of Uganda’s capital city, will include everything needed for a functioning, vibrant micro-city: affordable homes, educational facilities, office space, shopping and entertainment centers, and more. Adjaye’s contribution will be a massive office complex made up of 10, conoidal towers that form a circular, public plaza at its center.

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